Kate Novacks has crafted an engaging documentary on fashion editor Andre Leon Talley, the gay African-American mover and shaker who rose from humble North Carolina roots to becoming a global influence. The Gospel According to Andre celebrates Talley’s extravagant personality and brings to mind gay legend, Truman Capote, whom he actually references in context of his childhood. Talley states, “I don’t live for fashion. I live for beauty and style.” He has also lived for expanding and increasing his understanding and apprehension of the world at large, including a Masters in French language from Brown University.
Going against African-American uber-activist orthodoxy, Talley, has never rejected Western culture outright—his prestige in Europe indicates that. Moreover, his roots in the southern black Christian church have been indispensable to who he is. Indeed, the fabulous ladies’ hats, renowned in African-American churches, were formative for his fashion aesthetic. He is also a huge fan of Michelle Obama, whom he regards as absolutely gorgeous.
Talley is openly gay, and as you’ll see in The Gospel According to Andre, he embraces that. In doing so, he expresses his creative nature in a winning way that makes him a consummate fashion taste-maker.
The Gospel According to Andre
Lagoon Cinema, 1320 Lagoon Ave., Minneapolis